Mariners Lose 4th Straight

Seattle MarinersTorii HunterGeorge BrettYogi BerraMike SciosciaCal Ripken, Jr.

Juan Rivera hit a tiebreaking homer inthe seventh inning, Mike Napoli also went deep and the Los AngelesAngels beat the Seattle Mariners 7-6 Saturday night after blowing afive-run lead against the AL's lowest-scoring team.

Brian Sweeney (1-1), working his second inning of relief,retired his first two batters in the seventh before Rivera drove a1-0 pitch to left-center for his 11th home run.

Angels left-hander Joe Saunders allowed five runs - four earned- and 10 hits over six innings and left with a 6-5 lead beforeKevin Jepsen gave up a tying homer to Josh Bard leading off theseventh.

Jepsen (2-1) pitched one inning for the win, and Brian Fuentesfollowed Fernando Rodney out of the bullpen with a hitless ninthfor his 18th save in 22 attempts.

Ryan Rowland-Smith, who has a 1-9 record, was charged with sixruns - five earned - and eight hits over 3 1-3 innings, raising hisERA to 6.18. The Australian-born left-hander's only victory came inan interleague game against Cincinnati, when he beat the Reds 1-0with six scoreless innings.

In 17 starts this season, Rowland-Smith has left a game leadingonly three times - and just once since April 17. But this time, histeammates got him off the hook after he departed with a 6-4deficit.

The Mariners got three in the fourth on an RBI double by JoseLopez and run-scoring singles by Justin Smoak and Josh Bard. Smoak,who came to the Mariners in a multiplayer trade that sent 2008 ALCy Young Award winner Cliff Lee to Texas on July 9, homered in theseventh off Saunders for his third hit, cutting the Angels' lead to6-5.

On Friday night, Smoak broke up Jered Weaver's shutout bid witha two-run homer in Seattle's 3-2 loss.

After falling behind 1-0 on an unearned run in the secondinning, the Angels came back with four runs in the bottom half -two of which also were unearned due to throwing errors byRowland-Smith and shortstop Jack Wilson.

Kevin Frandsen tied it with an RBI single, and No. 9 hitterReggie Willits added a two-run single with the bases loaded afterRowland-Smith fielded Brandon Wood's sacrifice bunt and pulledfirst baseman Smoak off the bag with his high throw. Wood scoredthe fourth run when Wilson threw wildly to first, trying tocomplete an inning-ending double play on Howie Kendrick's grounderto second.

The Angels increased the margin to 6-1 in the third when Napolihit his 15th homer and Frandsen followed Rivera's double with oneof his own.

Napoli was behind the plate for only the third time in his last20 starts. He has spent most of his time playing first base sinceKendry Morales suffered a season-ending broken leg in a home platecelebration following his game-ending grand slam against Seattle'sBrandon League on May 29.

NOTES: The Angels (50-44) have reached the 50-win mark with lessthan 50 losses in each of Mike Scioscia's 10 seasons as manager.The last time they failed to do that was 1999 under Terry Collins,when they needed 121 games to get their 50th victory. ... IchiroSuzuki's third-inning single was his 2,150th hit in the majorleagues, tying Yogi Berra for 190th place. Only four players havehad more career hits against the Angels than Suzuki's total of 239- Hall of Famers George Brett, Carl Yastrzemski, Cal Ripken Jr. andPaul Molitor. ... Torii Hunter was 0 for 4 as the Angels'designated hitter. Willits started in CF in place of the nine-timeGold Glove winner and threw out Wilson trying to advance from firstto third on Suzuki's single with none out in the second. ...Saunders came in 8-1 with a 2.93 ERA against the Mariners, and hadwon his previous seven decisions against them.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times